Birx: Media 'very slicey and dicey' with coronavirus headlines

Birx: Media 'very slicey and dicey' with coronavirus headlines
© getty: White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx

Deborah Birx said late Saturday that news outlets have been very “slicey and dicey” in crafting headlines regarding the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the press has a responsibility to write them to reflect “the science and the data” that is included lower in articles.

“I think the media is very slicey and dicey about how they put sentences together in order to create headlines. ...We know for millennials in other studies that some people may only read the headlines. And if there’s not a graphic, they’re not going to look any further than that,” Birx, the White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, said on Fox News’s “Watters World” when asked if the media has been fair in its coverage. 

“And I think we have to be responsible about our headlines. I think often, the reporting maybe accurate in paragraph three, four, and five. But I’m not sure how many people actually get to paragraph three, four, and five,” she added.

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“And I think the responsibility that the press has is to really ensure that the headlines reflect the science and data that is in their piece itself.”

Her comments come after President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE sparked criticism last week by suggested disinfectants be used as a treatment for coronavirus. The White House said his remarks were taken out of context and Trump later said he was being sarcastic.

Health officials and politicians slammed the president for his comments and encouraged the American people not to ingest disinfectants.

But Birx told Fox News that the president was not putting anyone in danger with the remarks.

“He likes to talk [new information] through out loud and really have that dialogue. And so that’s what dialogue he was having. I think he just saw the information at the time, immediately before the press conference. And he was still digesting that information,” Birx said.

“The president has always put health and safety first. I think you can see that in the way that he was supportive of slowing the spread guidelines -- knew the impact that that would have on the economy, and knew clearly what impact it would have on the economy,” she added.

“Yet, he realized that the health and safety of Americans was his number one interest and responsibility."